Voice for the Actor (DRA2086)

StaffDr Konstantinos Thomaidis - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This unit aims to offer the opportunity for developing critical and professional awareness of issues and practices in the field of theatre and performance. The module will provide a foundation for speaking Shakespeare’s text, and individual workshops will explore Greek Tragedy, Restoration Comedy and Samuel Beckett, amongst other genres and playwrights.



ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Take a sensitive, imaginative and creative approach to the vocal interpretation of literary texts and to evaluate effectively your own and others' performance;
  • 2. Reflect on your own vocal usage in order to develop your skills as a performer/actor;
  • 3. Apply speaking and listening skills to the analysis and performance of accent, pitch and resonance; design and implement activities and outcomes for the development of vocal skills appropriate to a given context.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to contribute research to small groups in effective presentations, to evaluate visual evidence and to develop advanced confidence in the ability to analyse, critique and manipulate complex material.
  • 5. Relate to others in theatrical processes and performances; to work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits and to solve a number of specific technical problems and apply that understanding to performance work.
  • 6. Demonstrate the ability to engage critically and analytically with physical discipline; the development of thoughtful creative processes, understanding of physicalisation in performance and the capacity to articulate that understanding in appropriate ways.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Develop advanced personal research skills using personal initiative; to set personal objectives that are linked to a sense of challenge and extending boundaries and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies that are self critical as much as self reflective.
  • 8. Develop advanced confidence in performance skills and public presentation, in a variety of situations and/or with a variety of audiences, both of dramatic practice and researched material.
  • 9. develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback, and to improve communication skills and advanced analytic abilities in discussions.

Syllabus plan


This module is concerned with a disciplined approach to relevant exercises and the application of vocal technique in performance. In order to fully appreciate the complex relationship between the actor and the actor’s voice, this unit will also require students to investigate the interaction of the speech organs and explore how an actor’s whole body influences the quality of voice produced.

Students will participate in regular vocal exercises and other activities that will benefit all aspects of voice production. Students will first apply the method to a Shakespeare monologue, then to a scene and finally a piece of text from their vocal workshop. These three performance pieces will result in a final assessed performance that reflects the skills acquired over the course of the module. As students become more familiar with the theory of voice production and more confident with practical voice work, they will also contribute to the delivery of a voice workshop for the rehearsal of a selected text. In addition to the discipline of vocal development exercises, students will gain as much experience as possible testing their technique against a variety of texts in order to foster an appreciation of how different vocal tones can suit different styles of text, and how the aesthetic response to text informs considerations of pitch, pace and dynamics. Learners must also consider the implications for the voice of the demands of characterisation in a range of texts. The research undertaken for the voice workshop will be analyzed in a final research essay.







Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities66Staff-led voice workshops
Guided Independent Study33Students lead workshops based on specific tasks given by module tutor
Guided Independent Study201Preparation for workshops and performances as well as assigned reading

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Monologue and Scene study10 mins1,2,3,5,6,8,9Verbal, peer and tutor
Vocal Workshop (pair)1 HourAllVerbal peer and tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Final performance60Usually 20 mins1,2,3,5,6,8,9Tutor verbal and written
Essay402000 words2,3,6,7Tutor written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Final PerformanceWritten reflection 2,000 words1,2,3,5,6,8,9Referred/deferred period
EssayEssay, 2000 words2,3,6,7 Referred/deferred period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Indicative basic reading list:

Barton, J. Playing Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2009)

Berry C. Voice and the Actor (London: Virgin Books, 2000)

Carey D. and Clark Carey R. The Vocal Arts Workbook and DVD: A Practical Course for Achieving Clarity and Expression with Your Voice (London: Methuen Drama, 2008)

Clifford Turner J. Voice and Speech in the Theatre (London: Methuen Drama, 2007)

Hall, P. Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players (London: Oberon, 2009)

Linklater, K. Freeing the Natural Voice (London: Nick Hern Books, 2006)

Linklater, K. Freeing Shakespeare’s Voice (London: Nick Hern Books, 2010)

McCallion M. The Voice Book: for everyone who wants to make the most of their voice (London: Faber and Faber, 1998)

Mills J. The Broadcast Voice (Boston: Focal Press, 2004)

Rodenburg P. The Actor Speaks: Voice and the Performer (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)

Rodenburg P. The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice (London: Methuen Drama, 1993)


ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:

Indicative web based resources e.g. ELE:

www.british-voice-association.com The British Voice Association

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other resources:

International Centre for Voice Studies


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

Actor’s Voice, Vocal Technique, Speaking Verse, Interpreting Text, Shakespeare and Voice